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Customer Review

99 of 110 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Can't say it's the best investment of your time, March 6, 2011
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This review is from: The Bogleheads' Guide to Retirement Planning (Paperback)
I had high hopes for this book but was ultimately disappointed. I think there are two reason for this.

First, I think it tries to cover a little to much, including topics that I don't necessarily think should be part of the retirement planning (ie general investing stuff). I was looking for a more narrowly targeted book. So would this be a good overview/introduction book? Well, no; and this brings me to my second issue.

The book is straddling the line between beginner and expert on knowledge of the topics covered. This is to say it covers a lot of topics, and does give you the basic concepts you need to consider in each of the topics(this is the beginner part), but since the topics are limited in scope, they tend to throw the concepts and terms at you without giving you the foundation for understanding the terms. So If you an expert, you say to yourself, yep, I know that already, and if you are a beginner, you are saying ok I got my marching orders, but I don't understand exactly what it means, or how to implement them.

To summarize, if you are well versed in the topic you will not be picking up much new information, but if you are a beginner you will probably get confused, or will not know how to implement the plans provided.

Now, the book is written by new authors for each topic, so the review I just provided does not apply for each topic, but the overall feeling I got when reading the book was that this book will help you to understand what topics you will need to investigate further (because you didn't understand fully what the writer was talking about), or you will decide okay, I am think I understand this topic quite well because I really didn't get anything new here. That is where I found I was, getting confirmation that I am at a point that I am ready to start drawing up and implementing my retirement plan. I'm not sure that reading the whole book was work that confirmation.

Here is a list of some of the books I have read in preparing for retirement, and a one-liner, and ranking for each. I will order them in the order I would read them:

1. The AARP Retirement Survival Guide: How to Make Smart Financial Decisions in Good Times and Bad (Julie Jason)
Rank: 5/5
Summary:Real good overview and introduction to the many considerations for retirement.

2. Buckets of Money: How to Retire in Comfort and Safety (Raymond Lucia)
Rank: 4/5
Summary: Interesting concept on planning for retirement. Although I'm not sure I will use the plan Raymond lays out here, I think the general concept is a real good idea on how to think about tapping your assets as you plan for retirement.

3. Annuities For Dummies (Kerry Pechter)
Rank: 4.5/5
Summary: Great details on the highly complex subject of annuities, a critical tool for your retirement planning to alleviate longevity and market risk.

If you read the books above, I don't think there is a need for reading the books listed below since either they don't have the depth, or have already been covered in sufficient detail in the books above.

The Bogleheads' Guide to Retirement Planningg (Various Aurthors)
Rank: 3.5/5
Summary: I think this book tries to cover a little to much, and as a result has topics that I don't think are appropriate for the retirement planning. Since the book attempts to cover so many topics, it really doesn't give real good details on any one topic. I think of this book, more as an executive summary for the various topics it covers.

Can I Retire? How Much Money You Need to Retire and How to Manage Your Retirement Savings, Explained in 100 Pages or Less (Mike Piper)
Rank: 2.5/5
Summary: What do you expect for 100 pages? Although the author does seem to stay on-topic in this book, its just to broad to really give you any actionable information. Perhaps a decent book if you are just wading into the whole concept of retirement and don't want to put alot of thought into details(IE the big picture). This book does not answer the question it poses in the title.

Hope this helps
James
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 25, 2012 3:27:46 AM PST
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Sep 16, 2014 5:42:16 PM PDT
AC says:
Thank you for this insightful review and especially the rank-ordered list of retirement books. Very helpful! So helpful, in fact, that I didn't notice any spelling errors even though I'm a stickler for correctness in writing.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 2, 2014 11:39:56 AM PDT
Steve Kohn says:
AC, I agree, this was a remarkably helpful review.

Helpful not just on the book under review, but recommendations for others.

Thanks, Yoder!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 21, 2014 9:12:08 PM PST
NSAES says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Oct 6, 2015 4:28:44 AM PDT
Dan Nuttle says:
Thanks so much. I've been looking around for a good book to get started on researching retirement strategies. I was not surprised to find that the field is crowded with lots of books looking to hawk services, or books that have a certain slant. I just wanted a good, solid book to get started with, before I move into more detail. So I'm getting the AARP book, and making a note of your other choices.
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